Monday, Mar 21, 2022, 16:13 Mac: Hardware

Mac Studio In Tests – First Impressions & Experience Reports

The current, most optimistic delivery prognosis for a Mac Studio ordered today is an early arrival in the second week of April. However, official delivery times vary per configuration and may take up to three months for some customizations. Those who were quick to buy the Mac Studio following the Peek Performance had their devices shipped Friday and will soon be able to test out the new "big Mac mini's" handling. Preliminary benchmarks are already available, though – as Apple provided a few media outlets with devices for review purposes in advance.

Impressive CPU Performance
If there's one thing that most people already know barely needs to be said about Apple's newest Mac, it's that its CPU performance is outstanding and, as per GeekBench and Cinebench tests – far outperforms what is currently possible with Intel or AMD hardware. Things are slightly different in terms of GPU performance, however – that's to be expected given the fact that the Mac Studio only uses 100 watts. A device with a top-notch GPU requiring overall four times the wattage will likely outperform the Mac Studio when it comes to graphical performance. The Mac Studio's most significant weakness in this area is fill rate – the M1 chips' memory simply isn't fast enough to keep up with a massive dedicated GPU.



Graphical Power Comparison From The Verge

Computing Power Comparison From Engadget

Fan Rarely Necessary
The first few test reports unanimously agreed that the device's performance was quite simply amazing, and in most cases – perhaps overkill for many users. Even though Apple's M1 Ultra isn't at the head of the pack when it comes to graphics, the Mac Studio's graphical performance values are still amazing, especially given the fact that it only uses 100 watts. A comparatively powerful team of Intel CPU + a dedicated graphics card would need more than 400 watts for this. The Mac Studio's low energy usage means extremely quiet operating conditions. All reports indicate that the machine is extremely quiet, exactly like its other M1 counterparts.

Expensive – But Excellent Value
Next to the massive amounts of praise that Cupertino's newest compact desktop has received – especially in terms of the many connection ports, and "performance in a small space", there are also some critiques. For starters, there's the high price and the fact that the device cannot be upgraded or further customized after purchase. However, the price margin isn't necessarily all too important for the computer's target group – they don't tend to search for devices much cheaper than the Mac Studio anyways. Of course, most private users will have no reason to purchase such an expensive device as they are unlikely to need even half of the device's performance potential.

The Verge notes that the Mac Studio is the computer that many had hoped for in the Mac Pro. It doesn't matter what kind of extreme demands are placed on the hardware in Blender or what after effects are applied, the device's fans and cooling system consistently remain barely even audible – entirely in contrast to the loud fan roar familiar to users of the old Intel Macs. Engadget has clearly declared itself as a fan of the Mac Studio. The Mac Studio shouldn't simply be seen as another variant of the Mac mini, but its own statement in the workspace.

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